Twitter has erupted in fury after West Midlands Police Commissioner David Jamieson suggested that the government should give police officers the right to force entry into homes of those suspected of violating lockdown rules.
On Tuesday, Jamieson described the power of entry as a “useful tool” to handle “the small minority of people who refuse entry to police officers and obstruct their work,” adding that he had already raised the issue with the policing minister, as “clarity on the power of entry would help police officers enforce the new Covid regulations more easily.”
Twitter users were outraged, however, calling the proposed expansion of Covid-19 measures “shocking” and an infringement on their civil liberties.
Police don’t serve the public any longer. It’s seems a majority of police see the public with suspicion. A power to enter without a warrant a serious breach of our liberties. No one I their right mind can support this. I’m disgusted David Jamieson could even broach
— Gary P (@gazzaputt) January 5, 2021
This is shocking, we are heading to a very dark place in this country.
— antony roberts (@antonyr27929796) January 6, 2021
One person threatened to meet the police with her “not people friendly” dog, while another even suggested they would use a crossbow against officers attempting to enter their home.
Let's see them get past my not people friendly Rottweiler.
— Vicky (@vickyintheuk) January 5, 2021
Will be waiting behind the door… crossbow ready!
— Paul Calver (@PMCalver) January 6, 2021
Others suggested that police officers should focus on “real” crime instead, such as knife attacks and gangs.
They’d be better smashing doors of real criminals down
— phillipprothery (@phillipprothery) January 6, 2021
Much easier than solving knife crime epidemic in London/ gang-related crime. So brave of them
— Jaimon (@jaimonpatel) January 6, 2021
Not everyone was outraged by the idea, though, with some arguing that the official simply wanted to protect people from catching Covid-19 and from others who behave irresponsibly.
I think Mr Jamieson just wants people to stand a fighting chance of living longer in the face of cretins who think it's ok to do whatever they want. Don't be like Mr Fox.
— Paul Smith (@molyneuxsmith) January 5, 2021
Another suggested that police can already force entry if they suspect a crime is being committed.
Don’t the police already have the power to force their way into homes if they think a crime is being committed?
— Voice of Britannia (@VOBritannia) January 5, 2021
Some also questioned whether Jamieson’s comments were unbiased, given he was previously a Labour MP and the PCC is an elected representative responsible for policing in England and Wales.
The PCC is not a police officer. The PCC is a politician who gets involved in policing strategy. In this case, he is a former Maths teacher and Labour MP.
— Clip75 (@Clip751) January 5, 2021
This comment comes from politician David Jamieson, the Police Commissioner for the area.He is not a police officer however. He is also a former Labour MP & is reportedly not running for re-election.I wouldn't take too much notice of his remarks.
— Kevan James (@kevanjameswrite) January 6, 2021
In December, Jamieson expressed concern that many families would break the Covid-19 rules to spend Christmas together and criticised the government’s “chaotic” handling of the raging pandemic, saying that the police were “left in the middle of a very difficult situation.”
British media reported that in their discussions with government since the first lockdown, police had pointed out that the current coronavirus regulations do not allow them to enter places where they suspect a violation of laws, such as large parties taking place.
England imposed its third and toughest national lockdown this week to try to curb the huge spike in Covid-19 cases. The measures are likely to remain in place at least into March.
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The new regulations prohibit people from leaving home unless they’re going to work, if working from home is impossible. People are also allowed to shop for essential food and medicine, to seek medical care, to flee the threat of harm, or provide essential care. It is also permitted to leave home once a day for exercise.
UK daily Covid-19 cases surpassed 60,000 for the first time on Tuesday, with the total number of infections at almost 2,800,000 and more than 76,000 deaths.
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